brazil-destinations-criciuma

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Criciúma is a municipality located in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, in the central region of
Southern Santa Catarina, microregion of Criciuma. According to the 2014 IBGE statistics, it has 204,667
inhabitants and is the main city of the carbon­producing metropolitan region, which has about 600,000
inhabitants, and is the most populous city in the South of Santa Catarina, the 5th largest in the state of Santa
Catarina and the 22nd in southern Brazil. According to the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS), Criciúma
houses more than 252,000 registered citizens. It is among the hundred municipalities in Brazil with the best
Human Development Index (HDI), estimated at a score of 0.788 at 2014. Criciúma is the 76th best rated
municipality in the country and the 14th best­rated of Santa Catarina in 2014.
The city is a industrial center to many sectors, including: manufacturing, packaging, ceramic, plastic and
disposables, metal­mechanics, extraction of coal, construction and graphic material.
The city is known as the Brazilian capital of coal and ceramic tiles. The region holds one of the largest mineral
reserves. The Visitation Mine Octavio Fontana allows a view of the historical evolution of the mining wealth of
the city. Colonized by Italians, the city also received Polish, German, Portuguese and Arabs in its many stages
of development along the years.
Among the many festivals that take place in the South of Brazil, one of them takes place in Criciúma. Held for
more than 23 years, the Festival of Ethnic Groups, which in the early editions was a Church festival to be held
in the Nereus Ramos Square, next to the St. Joseph Cathedral, brings together all the ethnic traditions of the
region and its main objectives are to promote the cultural events and integrate the settlers of Criciúma, thus
passing on their cultural history.
HISTORY
The Criciuma name derives from a Brazilian grass (Criciuma asymmetrica, which is akin to Chusquea
ramosissima), which looks like a bamboo and was found in the region. In the local native indian language, the
Criciúma name stands for “small bamboo”.
In the mid­eighteenth century, the imperial government gives Castro Jerome a grant allotment in order to
develop agriculture, cattle breeding and, later, the extraction of plants and at the same time, to settle and and
colonize the territory. The original plot was where today is located the city of Urussanga, and included the
current territory of Criciúma. For many years, however, the region remained uninhabited, having received
settlers for clearing the area.
The Criciuma foundation happened only in the late nineteenth century, during the European migration cycle.
The date of January 6, 1880 is considered as one of the foundation and beginning of the municipality of
colonization, with the arrival of the first families of Italian from the Veneto region, northern Italy. There were a
total of 22 families, which amounted to 141 people.
These immigrants, despite finding many difficulties, were responsible for breaking the region, building houses,
roads and schools and having agriculture as the main economic activity.
In 1890, German and Polish immigrants arrive in the region along with the Italians, and also the Portuguese
descent coming from the Laguna region, which contributed decisively to the development of the municipality.
In 1913 begins the carbon cycle, with the discovery of the first deposits of ore. This was the great engi of
economic development of the city, creating jobs and attracting investment, with its peak between the 1940s
and 1970s. During this period, Criciuma became known as the “Brazilian Capital of Coal”.
The emancipation of Criciuma occurs in 1925, with its break­up from the county of Araranguá.
Since 1947, the ceramics industry starts to develop in the city, assuming a fundamental role in the economic
context of the region, raising Criciuma to one of the major world producing poles, and the Criciumense ceramic
became recognized for its quality.
With a diverse economy, embattled and entrepreneur, Criciuma figure today as a city rapidly developing
people, one of the major cities of Santa Catarina and economic and industrial center of the southern state.
On December 7, 2000, rescuing its origins, Criciuma became a sister city to Vittorio Veneto, city of origin of
many immigrants who have contributed to the city’s foundation.

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